Johari Window- Extra Credit Bonus Prompt

The Johari Window was a fun assignment. It not only made me reflect on my own personality it also gave me insight on what other people think about me as well. I just emailed the link to a bunch of my friends and I had eleven people respond to the quiz. I picked the words caring, friendly, relaxed, introverted, shy, and spontaneous. Out of all of those only half were chosen by others: caring, friendly, and relaxed. I sort of expected this though because while I do not act shy around my friends and family, I am not always the most comfortable in a group setting. I just find it very stressful. I do not really talk about it a lot though so it is not something that I thought people would choose. Some of the other words chosen were accepting bold, brave, calm, cheerful, confident, dependable, dignified, happy, idealistic, independent, intelligent, kind, knowledgeable, logical, loving, mature, patient, self, assertive, sentimental, silly, sympathetic, trustworthy, and warm. Overall, it was sort of like a confidence boost because everything that everyone said was very nice. Some of the words I did not think people would choose, like dignified, but when I sat down and thought about the words in relation to my personality I could see many of the words in my personality. I think people chose different words than I did because we view ourselves different and criticize our own flaws a lot harder than others do. It was just interesting to see how other people can view you differently than you view yourself. 

Spotlight Blog #2- Intelligence

There are many controversies over what is the best way to teach children. One recent controversy that has been brought to the public’s attention is whether or not year-round schooling could be beneficial. This is a hot topic; there are many people that are strongly in favor of laws that support this, but there are also many people that are skeptical about changing the system. It is known that other countries besides the United States utilize year-round schooling but would it work in the US? An article titled “Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education” from the National Education Association mentioned some pros and cons. The pros included increased retention rates due to a shorter time away from school, efficient use of school space so buildings would never be left unoccupied, and remediation can occur during the school year. Some of their cons included scheduling conflicts with extracurricular activities, scheduling conflicts if the whole district does not adopt year-round education and a parent has children that go to more than one school, and no research suggests that year-round education is beneficial for students.

Another article titled, “Year-Round Schooling Explained” also weighed the pros and cons of year-round education. They emphasized that going to school all year long with frequent breaks could actually relieve stress for students and teachers and prevent burnouts. They believe that even though students would be going all year long, there would be enough breaks that it would not drain the kids. For their cons they added to the list that tourism could suffer because in the summer months when families usually go on vacations, their children will still be in school so they will be less likely to go and in turn will negatively affect tourism. Also, high schoolers could have difficulty finding jobs because instead of one big break that lasts a couple months, their breaks only last a couple weeks at a time.

The next two articles I found on the same website; they were written by the same person, but each argued a different opinion. The first article, “Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling,” claims that year-round schooling will actually decrease obesity among children. They believe that over the summer is when kids gain the most weight because instead of playing outside with friends, many kids are turning to video games for entertainment. Whether or not there is a connection between year-round education and obesity is still unknown because there is no conclusive evidence from research. In the article, “3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling,” the author argued that year-round school would actually end up costing the tax payers more money. This is because the schools would have to pay more for air conditioning over the summer months than they are currently. After looking at all the information, I do not think year-round schooling is overly beneficial for students and taxpayers. Sort of like the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it,” I do not think there is anything wrong with the current system. I do not think young kids in elementary school could handle going year round because when I was little, I always looked forward to summer vacation. Sometimes kids need to just get away for awhile from all the schoolwork, and I do not think a week here and there would be enough time for the kids to de-stress from all the work.




Week 11 First Impression Post- Personality

For this week’s first impression post, I took all four of the personality tests. I was very skeptical about taking these kinds of tests in the past because I doubted their credibility. Now that took each of them, I think I doubt their accuracy even more so. Well… some more than others. The first test said I was an introvert and the third said I was more of an extravert. I found the third test to be the closest to how I would describe myself. It said that I was slightly extroverted, ranked high on emotional stability, agreeableness, and imagination. The one area I scored low in was conscientiousness. I scored a one which means that according to this quiz I am very impulsive and disorganized. I tend to make last minute decisions and am definitely not a planner. I am not a very organized person either, but I have been trying to improve on this. The last quiz where you just chose color blocks I do not find very reliable. I just randomly chose colors by which ones I liked the best so I do not know how this can tell my personality. Color preferences could be different between genders and ages, and could have nothing to do with the personality traits of the person. The results of that test seemed a lot like reading a horoscope. They were generalized and I felt like they could apply to a bunch of different people. For these reasons, I find the third test the most reliable out of all of them, and the last test the least reliable.

First Impression Post- Week 10

For this week’s first impression post I chose to write about option 2. For this option I will be discussing my opinion on violent videogames among children. I have a younger brother, he is thirteen years old. My mom never let him play video games that are violent because she thought it was inappropriate for a kid his age to be playing. When he comes home from school he always says he does not know why he can’t play certain videogames that his friends are playing. He says that kids even younger than him are playing games like Call of Duty and Battlefield. I have seen people play these games and they are downright gory between all the shooting and stabbing. Whoever gets the most “kills” wins the game. Should kids really be getting rewarded for killing people? Even if it is not real, and it is “just a game” as a lot of people say, I still say the answer is no. I don’t think games like that are necessary, or safe to be showing children. If children start playing violent videogames when they are young, they can become less affected by the violent images and become more likely to become violent as they grow up because they are used to seeing violence in their life. What is wrong with playing normal videogames like old school Pac-man or something? I am not a big video gamer, but after all the gun violence that has been occurring in our country I think banning violent games should be a no brainer.

Week 8 First Impression Post- Emotion

For this week’s first impression post, I decided to choose option two which was about reading people’s facial expressions in order to determine how they are feeling. I thought the test would be easy and I would get all twenty of them correct with no problem. This was not the case. I only got a fourteen out of twenty; it was a lot harder than I had anticipated it would be. Some of the faces I could definitely tell apart like love and sadness, but when I looked at some of the other faces, some were a lot harder to distinguish. Some were very similar like love and flirtatious. Embarrassment and sadness also looked very similar. Overall, it was just hard to determine how the person was feeling by just looking at their facial expressions. If I would have known the context of the facial expressions and could have spoken to them, it probably would have helped determine their emotion. The test does not seem that credible to me because everyone’s facial expressions can be slightly different for the same emotion. Also, people can feel a certain emotion, but react with a different facial expression depending on the situation that they are in. The test seems like a good idea because being able to identify the emotion behind a person’s facial expressions in everyday life is very important. I just do not know if this test is the best way and most accurate way to decide whether you can correctly identify people’s emotions in everyday life.

Week 7 First Impression- Sleep

Sleep is something all college students seems to lack. During my freshmen year, my time management skills were lacking so I was always up until at least one in the morning and I would only get about five hours of sleep a night. I always felt run down and got sick a lot that year. This year, my sophomore year, I knew that I had to work on my time management skills so I could get more sleep. It does help that I do not have any 8 AMs this semester; I had 8 AMs everyday both semesters of my freshmen year. It was rough, but I got used to waking up early. Even though I do not have any 8 AMs this semester, I still get up early and go to the gym at 7:15 every morning before my 9:30 class. In order to be able to wake up this early every morning to go to the gym, I know that I have to go to bed at a decent hour. This also means that I have to do my homework earlier in the day and not procrastinate. I have been trying to go to bed at 11-11:30 every night so I get about eight hours of sleep. I think seven to eight hours of sleep a night sometimes seems like a lot for a college student, but I have learned that I personally need that amount of sleep to be a functioning human being the next day. On nights that I fall behind on homework and have to stay up later than normal, I try to take a nap sometime the next day or I go to bed earlier the next night.

Spotlight Post #1

I chose Option 2: Memory for this spotlight post. The first website that I evaluated was called “Study Habits for College Students” from the Huffington Post. While this article gave examples of some good studying techniques it also gave a few pieces of questionable advice as well. Actually, the first piece of advice that the article gave contradicted something that we learned in class about memory. They said that by changing your location that you are studying in, it increases the likelihood that you will remember what you have learned. In class we discussed some things that help with retrieval of memories, including context clues. This means that we remember things better in the place where we first learned them. Some other studying tips the website gave were studying in groups, making flash cards, and do not spend all your time studying for one class. This advice seems to correlate with some of the things we talked about in class. Working in groups and making flash cards are good study tips as long as they are being used appropriately. It is not beneficial to be introduced to material for the first time when you are in a study group. So, when the article says that working in groups helps you to “divide and conquer” this is not always the case, at least when it comes to studying. Everyone should be familiar with all the content. Flashcards can be helpful as long as they are being shuffled and went through randomly. If a student goes through flashcards in the same order every time, they can pick up retrieval cues from cards around it, and are not effectively learning the material. One of the last tips about not spending all your time on one subject may be helpful as well, from what we learned in class. Studying only one subject for many hours can give a student a false sense of mastery. Instead of actually knowing the material, they are just picking up retrieval cues from looking over the same information in the same order. Once a student can mix up the information and still remember the correct answer, they know that they have successfully put the information in their long-term memory. The second article I read was titled “10 High School Study Tips for Students.” This article contained many of the same study tips as the first article, with a few exceptions. The first tip was to study alone; they chose this as a tip because high school students are more likely to get off-topic when in a group setting because the whole group may not be as serious as a college student who is paying over a thousand dollars to be in a class. They also mentioned looking over things right before an exam. The only problem I see with this is the information that the student is taking in most likely is only making its way into their working memory, not their long-term memory. So the most that the student can keep in their working memory is about seven pieces of information, not a whole exam’s worth of information. The third article I read was directed towards parents and called “7 Tips for Improving Your Child’s Homework and Study Skills.” This article was looking at memory from a different perspective. Some of the suggestions in this article seemed like a no-brainer, like to keep checking in on your child’s progress to make sure they are focused and getting their homework done. Some of the pieces of advice, however, also correlated with advice given to high school and college students such as setting a timer for your child so they are not working on one subject for too long. This shows that advice given to young students, can also be helpful as they get older.

Week 5 First Impression Post- Memory

For this weeks First Impression Post, I will be discussing option 1 which is about my study habits. My study habits are something that I have been trying to improve on since the beginning of freshmen year. In high school, I never really had to study to get good grade but when I got to college I realized this was not the case. So high school did not really prepare me for the amount of studying needed to get a good grade in college. I have been experimenting with different techniques, including notecards, to rewriting my notes, to rereading chapters from the book, etc. I have tried techniques that my friends all swear by, but everyone learns differently so what has worked for them may not benefit me as much. For the first exam I looked over my notes and rewrote them hoping that it would drill the content into my brain. I think when I was doing this I was stressed out think about my first big biology exam of the semester which was the same day as the psychology exam and I was not focusing enough on what I was trying to study at the moment. I started studying like three days before the exam so in the future on weeks that I have multiple exams, I am going to start studying a week in advance so maybe I will not get as stressed out. Learning how to study properly for yourself can be something hard to master, sometimes it just takes some time to figure out what method is best for you.

First Impression Post #1

For my 1st First Impression Post, I chose to watch one of the Mythbusters videos then give my response to it. The video was titled “Shockwave Jam” and answers the question of “Does weaving through traffic actually get you to your destination faster?”

While watching the video I noticed several strengths of the experiment such as leaving at the same time of day so they would be driving through the same amount of traffic. Also both of the drivers were just regular people, with equal driving experience.

After watching the video I looked at their experiment set up and noticed a few weaknesses. The speed of the cars in the lane is always changing and the lane that he couldn’t change out of may have been faster or slower than the lanes the other car was weaving in and out of. The car in that couldn’t change lanes could be stuck behind a really slow driver one day and not the next. Also, it doesn’t account of other crazy drivers on the road, if weaving in and out of the lanes is worth risking your life. This could be fixed by setting limits on how fast each of the cars can drive.


Hi! My name is Alana Hicks and I am from Liverpool, Pennsylvania. This being my sophomore year, I chose to sign up for this class but it is also a requirement for my major (Biology, Allied Health). This is my first ever psychology class so I have no prior experience with the subject. However, there was a psychology course at my high school and everyone always seemed to enjoy it, but I could never fit it into my schedule. When I hear the word “psychology” the first thing that pops into my head is the brain. Like why we do the things that we do and why some people react to certain things but others don’t.

The top three most interesting topics on the syllabus for me are “The Brain: Micro-level,” “Stress,” and “Psychotic, Traumatic, & Personality Disorders.” Being a biology major anything having to do with the brain and how it works is interesting because it seems science related. I want to be a PA so learning about different disorders I think would also be helpful for me in the future. I chose stress because college gives stress so I might as well learn about it and how it affects me.

The three least interesting topics for me I think would be “Personality Theory,” “Obedience,” and “How to Choose a Therapist.” To tell you the truth I think they all look interesting, I just chose these ones because I didn’t really know what these lectures would be about. Like I have no clue what “Personality Theory” is. I guess that can be one of my questions that I want answered by the end of the semester. Haha. In all reality, I would like to know what psychology is, and how does it apply to my everyday life?